Voters abandon Social Democrats in droves

Voters abandon Social Democrats in droves
The Social Democrats lost 372,000 voters in the past year, as the gap between Sweden’s two main political blocs continues to shrink, according to a new poll.

Synovate’s December survey, the results of which are published in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, is the first since the three opposition political parties – the Social Democrats, the Left Party, and the Green Party – announced their plans to form a coalition ahead of the 2010 parliamentary elections.

The three parties’ combined lead over the centre-right Alliance parties has been cut in half since September and now stands at 9.3 percent.

Altogether, the opposition parties command support from 52.9 percent of the voters, while the four governing parties have support from 43.6 percent.

The Social Democrats alone fell out of favour with 2.3 percent of those who supported the party previously.

Support for the Moderate Party continued to climb and now stands at 26.7 percent, which is higher than it was at the time of the 2006 elections, when the party came to power, along with the Centre Party, the Christian Democrats, and the Liberal Party (Folk partiet).

Synovate interviewed 1,688 people for the poll, which was carried out between December 8th and 17th.

The overall results of the poll are as follows, with the change in support from the previous survey in parentheses:

Social Democrats: 40.0 percent (-2.3); Moderates: 26.7 (+1.5); Liberal Party (Folkpartiet): 6.5 (+1.0); Centre Party: 5.9 (-0.3); Green Party: 5.6 (-0.9); Christian Democrats: 4.5 (+0.1); Left Party: 57.2 (+1.9); Sweden Democrats: 2.6 (-1.0); other parties: 0.9 (-0.6).

The numbers are in line with the results of a study by Statistics Sweden released the previous week which also found that the Alliance parties were closing in on the opposition in terms of voter support.